The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee had its first hearing of the session on Thursday, looking at opportunities to diversify on-farm income. Ranking Member John Hoeven asked witnesses what can be done to make USDA programs better. One suggestion was speeding up the FSA loan approval process for young and beginning farmers. Truterra by Land O’ Lakes President Jason Weller said there needs to be culture changes at USDA. “I think the USDA could be more aggressive and assertive in trying to reach out and meaningfully engage with the infrastructure already in place today and work with farmers to be successful. There needs to be a more wholistic and strategic approach to the USDA’s deployment of assistance.”
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